Visit our performer lineup page for more about the entertainment! The festival is held at the Heritage Discovery Centerat 7th & Broad Streets in Johnstown, PA.
On August 28, 2023, three generations of the Polacek family gathered at the Heritage Discovery Center to announce their commitment to support the newly-renamed Polacek Family Johnstown Slavic Festival. We are grateful for their support!
Thank you to Maroba Builders LLC, The William Penn Association, Air Management Inc., AmeriServ, Robert Ramos of Wealth Management Partners, and ProVia. Additional sponsors include Croatian Hall, First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association, Rich Yeager, Somerset Trust Co., Gary Madia Insurance Agency, Steven Krawick, Gibson-Thomas, Johnstown Rotary Club, Wessel & Company, National Slovak Society, Croatian Fraternal Union of America, Johnstown West End Lions Club, Group Genesis LLC, Slovenian Savings & Loan, State Farm, Hilltop Office Supply, Associates Benefit Corp., and SNPJ Lodge No. 174.
Friday, September 15
The Heritage Discovery Center/Johnstown Children’s Museum will be open and FREE all day on Friday, from 10:00 am-8:00 pm. Friday festival hours are 4:00-10:00 pm.
Saturday, September 16
The Heritage Discovery Center/Johnstown Children’s Museum will be open and FREE all day on Saturday, from 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Saturday festival hours are noon-9:30 pm.
All presentations will take place on Saturday, September 17 inside the Heritage Discovery Center’s first-floor education center.
1:00-2:00 — Traditional Music of Ukraine. Members of Gerdan will share music traditions of Ukraine from West to East. They’ll discuss and demonstrate the many instruments from the Carpathian mountains, including folk flutes and violin. You’ll hear about instrumental music and songs from Ukraine and Eastern Europe, vocal techniques and styling, as well as the cultural settings. Of special interest is the cultural intersection of the genres: how polka got intertwined with Brazilian Samba! Dance will be worked into the program and taught in addition to songs.
2:30-3:30 — John Righetti: Rusyns and Religion: The Splitting of the Rusyn Church in America. John Righetti untangles the web that is the complex Rusyn history and why these people have so many names and faiths and stories.
4:00-5:00 – Robert Jerin: Geneaology Tips & Tricks: Join Robert Jerin in an exploration of tracing genealogy. Robert has spent the last 30+ years creating connections for folks exploring their Croation roots, including guided tours, seminars, private geneaology sessions, and a PDF book “Croatian Genealogy Handbook” which can be found online.
5:30-6:30 — Jeremy Shearer from Stone Bridge Brewing Company will give an educational lecture on each beer, the region it comes from, a little bit about each beer and then participants will get to try a sample of each beer! This will be a ticketed event at $10, first come first serve.